A Shop Called Quest has been an integral part of Redlands nerd culture for 25 years.
Located in downtown Redlands at 5 E. Citrus Ave., the store is dripping with old school charm, offering neatly organized rows of comic books, card games, artwork, and figurines. On its website, the store promises to offer all customers a “safe creative space,” and strives to innovate “the perception and experience of the modern comic book shop.” Since opening in Redlands in 1993, the shop has expanded to two additional locations — one in Claremont and another in downtown Los Angeles.
A Shop Called Quest hosts special events and takes part in conventions. One of their most popular events is a weekly Magic: The Gathering tournament, allowing players to win rare cards and prizes.
Ally Smith, a lifelong comic fan, stops by when she visits her parents in Redlands.
“I haven’t found another shop like this one where I am,” Smith said.
Smith especially enjoys the variety of products offered. While big box stores might carry some popular superhero T-shirts or mugs, smaller establishments like A Shop Called Quest have a fascinating assortment. “Those products don’t tend to be as clever as the ones you find in smaller stores,” Smith added.
Customer Mike James said he comes into the store to find Magic: the Gathering merchandise for his boyfriend.
“They really know their stuff,” he said. “I think they know more than I do sometimes, which is nice. I don’t feel like I’m putting someone into a coma when I ask a question.”
If you are looking for a place to get your nerd on, roll the dice and come down to visit your local comic experts. —Winry